Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Life…Happens
October 18, 2023
Life…it happens. Situations arise, and it’s a series of ups and downs, and sometimes, those downs hit really close to home. You may find yourself wrestling with sadness or disappointment stemming from your family or friends, as we all encounter moments that test our resilience.
In my own journey, there has been a sadness that has lingered for months. I have a dear friend who is dealing with a divorce, another is mourning a loss, yet another is navigating financial setbacks, one is diagnosed with an illness, and a friend is experiencing heartbreak in Israel—all these narratives began to intertwine.
What drives our responses when life throws these challenging events our way? What makes us react the way we do? How are we called to be there for the people facing these situations?
In my heart, I believe we are called to pray and be pillars of support and sources of encouragement for those whose life has thrown them a curveball.
Through those unforeseen challenges, we learn valuable lessons. Sometimes, those lessons are hard to understand and may take years, but recognizing that we are not alone provides comfort. I have witnessed individuals who go above and beyond for others, which restores our faith in humanity.
Let me share a recent experience from one of my flights that struck a chord with me. We had a full flight; our flight plan was about ten hours from Amsterdam to Salt Lake City, and I was working in the back of the plane. About four hours into the flight, I noticed an elderly gentleman coming out of the restroom, and it was clear something embarrassing had happened. His pants were all wet, and the discomfort was visible. I approached the younger passenger seated next to him and offered to help him switch seats. He agreed with a nod and a smile and moved to an open seat for a few hours.
What really touched me, though, was what happened during the final service…it was nothing short of inspirational. The younger passenger returned to his original seat next to the elderly gentleman and engaged in a heartfelt conversation. His compassion and empathy added tremendous value to that passenger and certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
It was a powerful reminder that, deep down, we’re all human. We’ll all encounter challenging situations, some of which might be embarrassing, just like the one on that flight. But it’s not the events themselves that define us; it’s how we respond to them.
Expectations are essential in our daily lives as they will help us process the events of our lives. They influence our attitudes and emotions. Expectations are conscious or subconscious. They can be reasonable or unreasonable based on life experiences, past events, or even those hard conversations.
Writing these articles weekly has challenged me to dig deeper daily into who I am and how I respond to emotions that surface. A situation arose recently within my family, and after conversing with a trusted friend, I have determined that my initial reaction was out of hurt and disappointment. I had to backpedal and recenter my thoughts and emotions and be okay with setting boundaries.
We will encounter situations in our lifetime that we will need to navigate to find the gifts and opportunities they bring, as life has a way of readjusting our focus. But it is through these trials that we grow, learn, and find our true character.
When we come out of a difficult situation with valuable lessons and personal growth, we’re uniquely positioned to help others who might be going through a similar struggle.
Life can be messy, unpredictable, and sometimes downright uncomfortable. But it’s also where we find our strength, courage, kindness, and ability to turn challenges into stepping stones for growth. Together, we can navigate the chaos and find meaning in the messiness of life.
It is so easy to remain complacent and keep our routines the same. But growth does not come from those things…growth comes out of adversity.
Life happens—the unpredictable nature of the journey allows us to grow, be resilient, and discover the infinite possibilities within us - our authentic selves. Embracing these opportunities, we find that life’s challenges are often the keys to unlocking our greatest potential.
“In the theater of life, adversity takes center stage, yet it is through the powerful performances of our challenges that we discover the strength within. ~ Maya Angelou
To Connect with Ellie FB @coachelliewest Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, TLT & Hypnosis